Judge: Yakima hospital violated Charity Care Act - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Judge: Yakima hospital violated Charity Care Act

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A judge says a hospital in Yakima has violated the state Charity Care Act by demanding payment from indigent patients. A judge says a hospital in Yakima has violated the state Charity Care Act by demanding payment from indigent patients.
YAKIMA, Wash. -

A judge says a hospital in Yakima has violated the state Charity Care Act by demanding payment from indigent patients.
    
The Yakima Herald reports that Superior Court Judge Susan Hahn says the actions of Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center constituted a breach of contract between the hospital and the patients in question. She also granted a motion requiring the hospital to turn over certain information long sought by the plaintiffs to bolster their class-action lawsuit.
    
Columbia Legal Services filed the lawsuit in 2013 against Regional and its former owner, Florida-based Health Management Associates. It alleges the hospital discouraged indigent patients from seeking care by requiring payments or deposits before procedures. Documents show employees could earn bonuses based on how much money they could wring out of self-pay patients.
    
Regional's current owner, Community Health Systems, which inherited the liability posed by the lawsuit, has declined to comment.
    
(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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